LONG layover in london-what to do?

I'm going to be traveling to Cape Town, South Africa in early July and I've found out that I have a 7 hour layover at LHR...I've been to London before, but as we all know there is so much to see in a city that can not possibly be seen in one trip. So I was thinking of venturing out into the city for a few hours suring my layover. Has anyone ever done this before? Would it be advisable/possible? Would it be possible to go out to hampton court for the day and come back, or is this too far from heathrow? If anyone has ventured out into the city during a long layover I would love your advice, or simply if anyone could suggest the easiest and quickest way to the city center, or to hampton court from LHR that would be most helpful!! Thanks!

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6837 posts

You have time to check out Windsor. It borders the airport and has lots of great shops, restaurants/pubs, and of course the castle. Its a 15 minute cab ride from the terminals. This has been discussed a few times do, a search for "Windsor".

Posted by Jared
Tacoma, WA, USA
16 posts

Winsor would make the most sense, though if you really have your heart set on getting to the city center it is possible. You can take the underground strait into the city center (it's the Picadilly Line), though that would take close to 40 minutes to get to any worthwhile sights. Additionally, and this probably isn't common, but when I took the Underground to the airport last week we had nearly half an hour in delays, which could be very bad news for you given your small time frame. Another option is the London Express, a train that gets you to the city center in like 20 minutes but costs something like 16 pounds. Like the other post said, Winsor would probably be your safest bet, and an interesting way to kill some time.

Posted by Christine
Gilbert, AZ, USA
18 posts

We had a couple of hours layover in London and took a tour of Windsor. We did use a tour company that specializes in that. It was nice--just my family, our guide, and a driver. It made things easy. I don't remember the name of the company, but I think I searched "layover tours."

Posted by Linda
Portland, OR, USA
389 posts

Candice, I hope you can arrange the tour mentioned here, but for me 7 hours doesn't look like much of a layover as you need about 3-4 hours of that for process time. By the time you go through customs at landing (1-2 hours depending on how many others are landing at your time) and getting there 2 hours before departure (which is sometimes not enough with the ques for getting into the departure area), you have about 3-4 hours for outside time.

Posted by Michelle
Anaheim, CA, USA
1394 posts

Candice,I'm not sure how long your connecting flight is, but after a flight I usually feel a need for a shower. There's a shower facitily at LHR (at Urban Retreat in Terminal 1) where you can also get a massage and facial treatment.

I also agree that Windsor isn't very far. That would be your best bet. Lots of lovely shops or stop for some cream tea.